A group of judges being considered for Georgia’s Supreme Court has asked parliament to disregard their nominations, citing a campaign of ‘unprecedented pressure’ on the judiciary. Their nominations had been controversial after rights groups, the opposition, the Public Defender, and several members of the ruling party accused them of being compromised and condemned the ‘rushed’ confirmation process.
The Azerbaijani authorities have dropped new charges against imprisoned anti-corruption blogger Mehman Huseynov following large protests in the capital. Thousands gathered in Baku on Saturday calling for Huseynov’s release and an end to political prosecutions and corruption in the country.
Several Georgian media advocacy groups have warned that a proposed defamation law put forward by the president could put freedom of speech in the country at risk. The groups pointed out that there are already legal mechanisms in place against defamation, and that any new restrictions would ‘endanger Georgia’s democratic development’. [Read more…]
An explosion in the Georgian capital, Tbilisi, has left four people dead including a toddler, and eight others injured. Preliminary findings by the authorities suggest a gas leak was the cause of the blast. [Read more…]
HIV testing before marriage could become mandatory in the Russian Republic of Daghestan, if new proposals by the head of the republic’s Consumer Protection and Welfare Service are adopted. [Read more…]
Tbilisi-based rights group the Georgian Democracy Initiative (GDI) have challenged country’s new pension system in the Constitutional Court. The group argues that the new private saving scheme contradicts Articles 11 (right to equality) and 19 (right to property) of the Georgian Constitution.
At least two people have been tortured to death and 40 detained in a new wave of state persecutions of queer people in the Russian Republic of Chechnya, Russian activists say.
At least 20 people both in prison and on the outside are now on hunger strike in Azerbaijan in protest against political prosecutions in the country, local activists say. [Read more…]
The Georgian government and Georgian Orthodox Church have declined to oppose or support the Ukrainian Orthodox Church’s independence from their Russian counterpart. The Ukrainian Church’s independence was officially recognised by Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople on 6 January, Orthodox Christmas Eve. [Read more…]